Published: Mar 5, 2013 10:00:00 AM
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Sushil Bhavnani, Henry M. Burt Jr. professor in Auburn University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, has been awarded a NASA Space Technology Research Opportunities—Early Stage Innovations grant to construct condenser surfaces for use in spacecraft thermal control systems. His project, “Enabling self-propelled condensate flow during phase-change heat rejection using surface texturing,” is in collaboration with Oregon State University.
Condenser surfaces turn vapor into liquid. Bhavnani’s microtextured condenser surfaces, which are designed with drainage channels, create a closed loop thermal management system for heat transfer and condensate flow. The system could result in a self-regulating, lightweight cooling system for spacecraft electronics that does not use additional power while pumping fluid through the system.